SELF-PORTRAIT AS A BASKETBALL COACH, by douglas basford
At halftime, instead of telling my team
what they were doing wrong or how to turn
the tide, I stepped onto the floor in a dream
that I'd show them how it oughta be done--
me, a ghost coaching a junior college team
inexplicably matched against the top
seed in the tournament, the crème de la crème
that for the first half had opened up a bakeshop
that my guys, baffled, bought every éclair from,
moves junior-high kids cook up and try out
on their wobbly friends on the driveway blacktop.
I drove, insubstantial, and glided up some,
sank a shallow dunk in my twisting gray tanktop.
No one watching, nothing I did would stop the rout.
This volume originally appeared in our volume 6 online edition.
Douglas Basford lives in Buffalo, where he teaches and manages persons with person numbers at SUNY-Buffalo. His work has appeared in Poetry, Smartish Pace, The Diagram, The Texas Review, The National Poetry Review, Anti-, Shampoo, Chain, Two Lines, American Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. He founded and co-edits the online poetry journal Unsplendid.